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Oh, Summer of 1985, I remember you well! Crawling around on the ground, eating bugs out of the window sill, screaming to have my diapers changed... yes, it was my first summer living away from home at the beach!  My friend Chris McCauley and I rented a house in Virginia Beach, VA between semesters (OF GRADE SCHOOL,OF COURSE), and scored jobs right by the shore. He became a waiter at a "fancy" hotel restaurant, and I, being too shy to be a server--I've since blossomed, in case you haven't noticed-- snagged a gig at a surf shop/T-shirt emporium.  I recall living on a fairly steady diet of home-made banana daiquiris and Hardee's biscuits; slathering myself in Panama Jack tanning oil (FUCK SUNSCREEN) while sporting the latest Billabong or Quicksilver board shorts, and  listening to Talking Heads and The B-52's non-stop.  It was also the first, and last, summer I tried to learn to surf -- umm, that shit is HARD. ( I also had a mini-breakdown in August brought on by lack of nutrition and pent-up sexual frustration, and almost had to be hospitalized, but that's a story for another day.  Come on, it wouldn't be The South if I didn't have a Blanche DuBois moment or three!) AND, OH, the movies!! We went to the movies constantly, and what a summer it was for flicks: Back to the Future, Cocoon, Prizzi's Honor, The Goonies, Weird Science, A View to a Kill, Return to Oz, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, Clue, Jewel of the Nile and St. Elmo's Fire, just to name a few. Two very distinct  movie memories I have from that summer include driving to Norfolk to see Blood Simple in the art house theatre there BY MYSELF--a first! -- and seeing (for the first of hundreds of times) one of my all time faves Pee Wee's Big Adventure with a high school wrestler co-worker buddy and an entire bottle of rum sneaked into the theatre in my Jams...that was quite a night. BUT somehow...I missed "The Legend of Billie Jean"! I was probably passed out behind the Big Bad Wolf roller coaster at Busch Gardens or somesuch when my friends hit that one. I did, of course see it years later, and even later than that, Christian Slater was coincidentally one of the first celebrities I met when I moved to Los Angeles. AND NOW Helen Slater and I have the same agent! For realz! Dreams come true, not free. Oh, Hollywood! Oh, one more thing: I was always a huge Pat Benatar fan, and was OBSESSED with the song "Invincible." I even remember saying to my loving, but very strait-laced grandmother that year at some point, as she was complaining about how "bold and wild kids were these days": "But, Grandmother, WE CAN'T AFFORD TO BE INNOCENT." Thank you, Pat and Billie!

 


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